The media say the Labor Party are engaged in a "false" scare campaign about the Turnbull Government's plans to privatise Medicare. Managing editor Dave Donovan says we should be scared, because ending Medicare as we know it exactly what they plan to do.
THE LABOR OPPOSITION is warning Australia that the Liberal Party intends to privatise Medicare.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called this
"... an outrageous, bizarre lie."
The mainstream media has rushed to Prime Minister Malcolm’s Turnbull’s defence, including the Leigh Sales on ABC 7.30 on Tuesday night, who made the bald claim that:
“The Coalition has no policy to privatise Medicare.”
It appears that Sales is unaware of the Liberal Party’s think tank – the IPA’s – "radical" plan for Australia.
Peter van Onselen on Sky News yesterday similarly declared that it was a “false scare campaign”. Not even a real campaign — a totally invalid "false" one. He went further today, saying it was a "... scare campaign built on a lie."
And yesterday, the media further ramped up the scare campaign rhetoric, with them reporting new AMA president Michael Gannon had “dealt a blow” to any suggestion the Coalition might be planning to privatise Medicare, by pooh poohing the idea.
This is the same Michael Gannon who, before he became AMA president, said that body was “too left-wing”. Who was revealed to be close friends with both Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and his fellow WA Liberal MP Ken Wyatt.
The same guy who, after being elected to head the AMA in March, declared:
“My view is the Turnbull Government will be re-elected and we need to build bridges.”
So much for being an unbiased observer. The old media have, of course, reported none of this context.
Nor have they reflected on the series of scare campaigns the Coalition are themselves currently feverishly engaged in over such matters as refugees, unions and negative gearing — all of them utterly without foundation. Or indeed mentioned the scare campaigns of elections past, including over the carbon tax and the dreaded, but now disappeared, “debt and deficit disaster”.
No, only when Labor engage in negative politics do the media start throwing brickbats.
Of course, all this reaches a farcical pitch when we consider that the Liberals do hate Medicare and, of course, they do want to privatise it. Or dismantle it. Or close it down. The whole idea of Medicare is anathema to the conservative establishment and its big business backers, who for obvious commercial reasons much prefer private health insurance — like the American system. Indeed, the Liberals have tried to undermine Medicare ever since it was brought in. In fact, they gutted it once before, after Gough Whitlam brought in the precursor to Medicare – Medibank – in 1975. And have been at war with it ever since Bob Hawke reinstated it in 1983.
The reality is, however, that the public won’t allow them to do that. The like Medicare, for also obvious reasons. And so the Libs will try to strategically weaken it and dismantle it bit by bit. They may do this by trying to remove its universality − such as by bringing in co-payments − or limiting what Medicare covers — such as by removing bulk-billing incentives or freezing GP rebates. And they will try to sell it off bit by bit — starting, perhaps, with privatising the payments system. Indeed, taking incremental steps towards privatisation is a well-established Tory plan that we can see in action by observing has been happening in the UK to the NHS.
Luckily, the Senate has been effective in preventing the Liberals from achieving their goal of ripping the heart out of Medicare. And that is why this faux outrage from the usual media suspects about this so-called Labor “scare campaign” should be seen for what it is – electioneering on behalf of their friends and allies. And also why it is vital − to your health! − that the current corporatists in power must not be re-elected on July 2. At the very least, they must not be allowed to take control of the Senate.
Your vote is important. Use it well next week.
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